Viruses, malware, phishing — by now, these are familiar terms. Many of us think of these and other cyber threats as risks only to desktop and laptop computers, but cybercriminals increasingly target mobile devices. Mobile devices are extremely vulnerable because more of the personal data is stored on these devices. A key reason why these devices are vulnerable is that its users are not aware of their potential hazards.  

We are living in an era where capturing moments in our mobile phones has become more important than living them.  

If you loose that mobile device that contains all the information, memories in forms of images, videos, texts & contact details of almost everyone you’d connect to. This infirmation can be misused against you or can be absused if it lands into wrong hands. A lost or a stolen device not only puts the information containing device into danger but also increases the chances of its connections coming under the radar of attack. As the technology evolves, the mobile threatscape keeps on emerging. Being aware and learning about potential hazards is the first step of combatting them.  

Mobile threats are on the rise, this list of recent mobile threats will help you raise awareness towards these-  

  • Mobile Greyware – Greyware is the malicious software that falls in between the categories of software and a virus. They can track the user’s location, increase its data usage and monitor its activities. These mobile grey wares or ‘madwares’ are annoying and can mess with the phone’s system settings or expose user’s private data & personal information.  

A Norton research stated that 55% of android apps contain madware or adware.  

  • Malicious Applications – Mobile applications are the reason why smartphones have increased usability. Malicious applications are usually disguised as legitimate utility applications. They tend to reconfigure settings, install mobile ransomware, send emails to your contacts or cause damage when successfully installed.   

The number of new malware variants for mobile increased by 54 per cent in 2019. 99.9% of these apps were hosted on third-party app stores.  

  • Fake Networks – We usually connect our devices to free public Wi-Fi networks and blindly follow the malicious instructions often disguised as steps to connect to the internet. They ask for your passwords for connection and tend to steal it without providing you with the internet. These fake networks can also intercept email messages, passwords, login credentials and other vulnerable information.  

According to Norton , nearly 60 million Americans have been affected by identity theft in 2018.  

  • Smishing – People have now become aware of phishing and some of them can even spot these illicit emails. Hackers have come up with smishing, a technique in which the malicious links are sent via SMSs. They pose to be a local bank offering benefits and tricking users into downloading infected files, potentially exposing sensitive data. 

The threats are constantly evolving, laptops, desktops, tablets and mobile devices are extremely vulnerable. Taking steps now to secure your mobile devices could save a lot of time and trouble later. Here is what you should do: 

  • Record Identification Details- Every device has a unique  International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI) number, also note its makes, models, serial numbers. This can help you in identifying & searching for your device when it’s lost or stolen.  
  • Set Strong Passwords- Passwords are the key to access data of any device or any account. Passwords that are eight characters long and include a combination of letters, numbers and special characters.  Passwords can serve as a strong deterrent in denying the unauthorised access. 
  • Additional Protection – Several features such as ‘Find my iPhone’ and similarly in android should be deployed. Business-grade software such as Norton Mobile Security & Kaspersky Security can also cover for additional security requirements that keep your devices safe.  

Developing secure usage practices and encouraging others to do the same is the need of the hour. A device usage policy along with periodic scanning can help you increase productivity and help in minimizing risk. We need to understand that being secure is easy, only if you’re careful enough.  

Secure your devices and for further security assistance, visit Bulwark CyberX.